Failure Is A Verb. Not a noun!

Can you remember when you learned the difference between a verb and a noun? A verb describes an action. A noun describes a thing.

When we get these confused, the result can be disastrous!

What is A Verb?

For example, the company named Google has had such an influence in the modern world that people now refer to searching the Internet as “google,” “googling,” or “googled.”

It is almost as if we are using verbal shorthand to describe the action.

Instead of saying “I am searching the Internet using the Google search engine,” we say “I’m googling.”

I can understand why we abbreviate it…for good reason. And yet, the meaning is still conveyed.

What About When The Wrong Meaning Is Conveyed?

Sometimes (actually more often than not), what we mean isn’t what the listener hears.

Take “negative self-talk” for example.

I can judge myself as being a failure because I haven’t been perfect about writing weekly.

Or, I can see it as an opportunity for me to forgive myself and move to a more consistent pattern.

When Failure Stopped Being A Noun For Me

It wasn’t until very recently that I was reminded that the word “failure” can be either a noun (how I’d been using it to apply to myself) or a verb.

When it sank in that I was allowing myself my beat myself up, I was finally able to decide to forgive myself and forget about my past errors.

Freedom Begins With Me

What hit me the most was that I could choose to let go of the past instead of beating myself up about it.

I don’t know if you can imagine or understand the feeling of Freedom that overcame my heart when I allowed myself to forgive myself and choose to believe that failure is a verb.

And, as a verb, it can be a passing action.

Because it is temporary, it means that failure doesn’t have to define who I am or what I choose to do today or in the future.

And then… I realized…

It doesn’t even have to apply to me!

Past Performance Does Not Dictate Future Results

In the Financial Industry, they have a disclaimer that says that the past performance does not guarantee future performance.

(The idea is that just because a stock had a 12% return last year, there is no guarantee that the return this year will be similar.)

And yet we act as if the way we were in the past has to be exactly how we are in the future.

We expect someone who was broke yesterday and is broke today to be broke tomorrow.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

The Key To Your Freedom

My wish for you is that you allow yourself to believe that “failure” is a verb, especially when used to describe yourself.

May you come to the understanding that you hold the key to unlocking the future you now don’t even dare dream of for fear of being disappointed.

Dare to dream, my friend! The future is not yet written.


  • Bob Caine

    Reply Reply September 30, 2015

    Hi Rachel,

    What a great post. I certainly can relate to what you are saying. It was only a couple of months ago, I realized I was holding myself back and am now working on fixing that.


  • Selma Mariudottir

    Reply Reply November 20, 2015

    I so agree with you that past performance does not dictate future performance! If we would only remember ourselves this every time we doubt our abilities or when someone brings us down. It takes some will power to keep moving forward no matter what but once you realize failure is just another step towards success nothing can stop you.

    • rachelbock

      Reply Reply December 8, 2016

      You’ve got it!

  • Candace

    Reply Reply March 21, 2016

    Hi, Rachel.

    I like your post and I also believe that the future is not yet written. I dare to dream because I can. Please post more so I can follow your progress.

    • rachelbock

      Reply Reply December 8, 2016

      Thank you, Candace! I will.

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